ADrum23
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Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:45 am

We all know the gaps in the US3 network, UA in the southeastern states, AA in the mountain states/pacific northwest and DL in Texas. While it is rumored DL may buildup AUS to address its Texas gap, it is highly unlikely AA and UA will do anything to address their gaps.

That said, if AA wanted to, could they buildup PDX into a northwestern/transpacific hub, similar to what DL did in SEA? IMO, if AA wanted to address their gap, PDX would be the only place they could logically do it.

For the record, I don't think it is necessary for AA to do this as they are the weakest of the US3 in Asia, but putting that aside, if AA wanted to buildup PDX, could it work for them? Or would there be too many challenges?
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:12 am

Isn't the population a bit small to justify a hub At PDX
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:23 am

Well, it would be harder than SEA, and it would destroy AA's relationship with AS, but I guess in the long term it "could" happen, PDX doesn't have the O/D demand to match SEA on long-haul flights, however, and AA's presence in PDX is so "comparatively" weak compared to competitors, so again, it would be tough, and beyond the courage of what AA seems to be comfortable with.

If YVR were in the United States I think it would be a GREAT place for an AA "cornerstone" hub but given its in Canada, that of course can't happen.

Nice idea, but the biased me would prefer UA fixing its Southeast problem. How about, in that vein, UA trading its LAX presence to UA for CLT? LAX is south, but given that AS won't simply hand over PDX to AS I think its still the only option (short of trashing yields and load factors in the Pacific Northwest through a mostly connecting hub at PDX) for AA on the West Coast.

If this happened, however, I'd say it won't be until after 2040 when market growth may allow another west-coast hub.

Linking to my catch all "what if" thread: Wacky What ifs?, Airline Fancies, etc. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1398131
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ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:08 am

SumChristianus wrote:
Well, it would be harder than SEA, and it would destroy AA's relationship with AS, but I guess in the long term it "could" happen, PDX doesn't have the O/D demand to match SEA on long-haul flights, however, and AA's presence in PDX is so "comparatively" weak compared to competitors, so again, it would be tough, and beyond the courage of what AA seems to be comfortable with.

If YVR were in the United States I think it would be a GREAT place for an AA "cornerstone" hub but given its in Canada, that of course can't happen.

Nice idea, but the biased me would prefer UA fixing its Southeast problem. How about, in that vein, UA trading its LAX presence to UA for CLT? LAX is south, but given that AS won't simply hand over PDX to AS I think its still the only option (short of trashing yields and load factors in the Pacific Northwest through a mostly connecting hub at PDX) for AA on the West Coast.

If this happened, however, I'd say it won't be until after 2040 when market growth may allow another west-coast hub.

Linking to my catch all "what if" thread: Wacky What ifs?, Airline Fancies, etc. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1398131


Like I said, I don't think this is an issue for AA and I doubt AA is interested in fixing their mountain states/pacific NW gap. PDX would require significant infrastructure development to bring it up to hub status, which I don't think Portland would want. I actually think a better idea would be for AS to formally join Oneworld and AA can then use AS's network to compete on the west coast.

There really isn't a place for UA to address their southeastern gap unfortunately. IMO, BNA and RDU are the only southeastern cities left (outside the super competitive Florida market) that don't already have a hub and could support one, but they have large focus cities for WN and DL respectively.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:44 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Isn't the population a bit small to justify a hub At PDX


Well, it's a lot bigger than Atlanta, and ATL is one of the biggest hubs in the world. It's also roughly the same size as Detroit and Memphis, both of which are also major hubs for different airlines. You don't need a lot of O/D to make a hub.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:08 am

spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Isn't the population a bit small to justify a hub At PDX


Well, it's a lot bigger than Atlanta, and ATL is one of the biggest hubs in the world. It's also roughly the same size as Detroit and Memphis, both of which are also major hubs for different airlines. You don't need a lot of O/D to make a hub.


It's a lot harder to establish a new hub based mainly on connections than O&D. ATL had the advantage of acting as a hub for a whole region of the US and being in the largest city in that region. It also grew over decades.

PDX is pretty close to both SEA and YVR which are long established international hubs. SFO is more distant to the south and is a large hub. PDX isn't in a region populous enough to support another hub. I think it's more likely some Asian airline would do for PDX what BA did for AUS. A daily 787 could handle local demand.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:17 am

ADrum23 wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Well, it would be harder than SEA, and it would destroy AA's relationship with AS, but I guess in the long term it "could" happen, PDX doesn't have the O/D demand to match SEA on long-haul flights, however, and AA's presence in PDX is so "comparatively" weak compared to competitors, so again, it would be tough, and beyond the courage of what AA seems to be comfortable with.

If YVR were in the United States I think it would be a GREAT place for an AA "cornerstone" hub but given its in Canada, that of course can't happen.

Nice idea, but the biased me would prefer UA fixing its Southeast problem. How about, in that vein, UA trading its LAX presence to UA for CLT? LAX is south, but given that AS won't simply hand over PDX to AS I think its still the only option (short of trashing yields and load factors in the Pacific Northwest through a mostly connecting hub at PDX) for AA on the West Coast.

If this happened, however, I'd say it won't be until after 2040 when market growth may allow another west-coast hub.

Linking to my catch all "what if" thread: Wacky What ifs?, Airline Fancies, etc. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1398131


Like I said, I don't think this is an issue for AA and I doubt AA is interested in fixing their mountain states/pacific NW gap. PDX would require significant infrastructure development to bring it up to hub status, which I don't think Portland would want. I actually think a better idea would be for AS to formally join Oneworld and AA can then use AS's network to compete on the west coast.

There really isn't a place for UA to address their southeastern gap unfortunately. IMO, BNA and RDU are the only southeastern cities left (outside the super competitive Florida market) that don't already have a hub and could support one, but they have large focus cities for WN and DL respectively.


I'm surprised no one hubs at BNA. It's far enough away from ATL, DFW, IAH, ORD, and IAD to make a viable hub.
 
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ricport
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:18 pm

IIRC, didn't DL try this a number of years ago, and it fizzled out?
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Well, it would be harder than SEA, and it would destroy AA's relationship with AS, but I guess in the long term it "could" happen, PDX doesn't have the O/D demand to match SEA on long-haul flights, however, and AA's presence in PDX is so "comparatively" weak compared to competitors, so again, it would be tough, and beyond the courage of what AA seems to be comfortable with.

If YVR were in the United States I think it would be a GREAT place for an AA "cornerstone" hub but given its in Canada, that of course can't happen.

Nice idea, but the biased me would prefer UA fixing its Southeast problem. How about, in that vein, UA trading its LAX presence to UA for CLT? LAX is south, but given that AS won't simply hand over PDX to AS I think its still the only option (short of trashing yields and load factors in the Pacific Northwest through a mostly connecting hub at PDX) for AA on the West Coast.

If this happened, however, I'd say it won't be until after 2040 when market growth may allow another west-coast hub.

Linking to my catch all "what if" thread: Wacky What ifs?, Airline Fancies, etc. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1398131


Like I said, I don't think this is an issue for AA and I doubt AA is interested in fixing their mountain states/pacific NW gap. PDX would require significant infrastructure development to bring it up to hub status, which I don't think Portland would want. I actually think a better idea would be for AS to formally join Oneworld and AA can then use AS's network to compete on the west coast.

There really isn't a place for UA to address their southeastern gap unfortunately. IMO, BNA and RDU are the only southeastern cities left (outside the super competitive Florida market) that don't already have a hub and could support one, but they have large focus cities for WN and DL respectively.


I'm surprised no one hubs at BNA. It's far enough away from ATL, DFW, IAH, ORD, and IAD to make a viable hub.


If it weren't for the large WN focus city, I'm pretty sure UA would be seriously looking at BNA for a southeastern hub.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:53 pm

ricport wrote:
IIRC, didn't DL try this a number of years ago, and it fizzled out?


Yes, but that was pre 9-11 (before and during the late 90's Asia recession). While I think it would be better today, there is still no guarantee AA would make money.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:02 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:

Like I said, I don't think this is an issue for AA and I doubt AA is interested in fixing their mountain states/pacific NW gap. PDX would require significant infrastructure development to bring it up to hub status, which I don't think Portland would want. I actually think a better idea would be for AS to formally join Oneworld and AA can then use AS's network to compete on the west coast.

There really isn't a place for UA to address their southeastern gap unfortunately. IMO, BNA and RDU are the only southeastern cities left (outside the super competitive Florida market) that don't already have a hub and could support one, but they have large focus cities for WN and DL respectively.


I'm surprised no one hubs at BNA. It's far enough away from ATL, DFW, IAH, ORD, and IAD to make a viable hub.


If it weren't for the large WN focus city, I'm pretty sure UA would be seriously looking at BNA for a southeastern hub.


Then its was strategic on AA's part to have BA start BNA-LHR service on a 787. It takes away an opportunity to capture transatlantic travel for UA at BNA.
 
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vhtje
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:30 am

Wouldn’t SFO be a better option?

UA is arguably vulnerable (reported ongoing integration issues, inconsistent product). Anecdotally, having lived in the Bay Area for two years, AA was well regarded in the local market - quite a large number of my friends have AA Advantage credit cards, and *every* AA flight I took (I flew most weeks either to ORD, JFK or LAX among other destinations) was full.

The con is gate space. AA currently have no spare gates and the up coming terminal move is not going to liberate many more for them. Plus capacity at SFO, particularly in poor weather.
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:56 pm

AA would be the last airline I'd consider to hub at PDX. They can't even run PDX-PHL year-round, let alone, serve PDX-JFK or PDX-MIA at all. Imagine those flights being hub to hub routes. It wouldn't work at all. If AA can't even support PDX service to all of it's major hubs, than there's absolutely not a chance in the world that AA would consider establishing a PDX hub.

If any of the legacies were to hub at PDX, I could imagine the following scenarios possibly taking place:

1. DL uses PDX as a SEA reliever airport; which I can actually see happening within the next 5 to 10 years, given that gate space at SEA is extremely limited right now.
2. UA restarts it's regional PDX hub; this is not as likely to happen, but I'm only throwing it out there because of the fleet and pilot/crew shortages that AS and QX are both currently dealing with.
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spacecadet
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:12 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
It's a lot harder to establish a new hub based mainly on connections than O&D. ATL had the advantage of acting as a hub for a whole region of the US and being in the largest city in that region.


Atlanta is the 8th largest city in the southeast, not the largest. By that criteria, there are 7 cities in front of it that are better hub candidates.
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:14 am

vhtje wrote:
Wouldn’t SFO be a better option?
.

Parker at AA did say in a perfect world SFO is the perfect place to build a pacific hub. No space, so it's LAX. Back in the day, when AA decided to build a hub at SJC, OAK showed information why AA should build in OAK - better weather than SFO, longer runway than SJC (at the time), OAK is closer to downtown SF than SFO, and it was easier for 70% of the bay area population to get there, and it had a BART stop. I supposed they would had to start all over with a new terminal, and there wasn't much room for that.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:47 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Well, it would be harder than SEA, and it would destroy AA's relationship with AS, but I guess in the long term it "could" happen, PDX doesn't have the O/D demand to match SEA on long-haul flights, however, and AA's presence in PDX is so "comparatively" weak compared to competitors, so again, it would be tough, and beyond the courage of what AA seems to be comfortable with.

If YVR were in the United States I think it would be a GREAT place for an AA "cornerstone" hub but given its in Canada, that of course can't happen.

Nice idea, but the biased me would prefer UA fixing its Southeast problem. How about, in that vein, UA trading its LAX presence to UA for CLT? LAX is south, but given that AS won't simply hand over PDX to AS I think its still the only option (short of trashing yields and load factors in the Pacific Northwest through a mostly connecting hub at PDX) for AA on the West Coast.

If this happened, however, I'd say it won't be until after 2040 when market growth may allow another west-coast hub.

Linking to my catch all "what if" thread: Wacky What ifs?, Airline Fancies, etc. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1398131


Like I said, I don't think this is an issue for AA and I doubt AA is interested in fixing their mountain states/pacific NW gap. PDX would require significant infrastructure development to bring it up to hub status, which I don't think Portland would want. I actually think a better idea would be for AS to formally join Oneworld and AA can then use AS's network to compete on the west coast.

There really isn't a place for UA to address their southeastern gap unfortunately. IMO, BNA and RDU are the only southeastern cities left (outside the super competitive Florida market) that don't already have a hub and could support one, but they have large focus cities for WN and DL respectively.


I'm surprised no one hubs at BNA. It's far enough away from ATL, DFW, IAH, ORD, and IAD to make a viable hub.


AA used to have a hub at BNA, if I recall correctly they had over 100 flights per day at one point based on what some BNA crewmembers have told me.
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bfitzflyer
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:26 am

spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
It's a lot harder to establish a new hub based mainly on connections than O&D. ATL had the advantage of acting as a hub for a whole region of the US and being in the largest city in that region.


Atlanta is the 8th largest city in the southeast, not the largest. By that criteria, there are 7 cities in front of it that are better hub candidates.

Atlanta is the 9th largest MSA in the country at 5.8 million and Portland is #25 at 2.4 million. Only MIA is a larger MSA in the SE,See link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... ical_areas
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:28 am

The other piece that no one has mentioned is where would the aircraft come from to operate this hypothetical new PDX hub? AA would either have to order 100 new aircraft or pull them from another hub. The opportunity cost of pulling resources from an established hub to try a new "startup" hub would not be worth it. This is why UA hasn't attempted a Southeast hub in MCO, BNA, or RDU (from the words of UA management themselves in an excellent Flying Together intranet post a while back).
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:44 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:

I'm surprised no one hubs at BNA. It's far enough away from ATL, DFW, IAH, ORD, and IAD to make a viable hub.


If it weren't for the large WN focus city, I'm pretty sure UA would be seriously looking at BNA for a southeastern hub.


Then its was strategic on AA's part to have BA start BNA-LHR service on a 787. It takes away an opportunity to capture transatlantic travel for UA at BNA.


See my post above. Also, UA is currently a distant 4th here at BNA. The idea of them starting transatlantic service is laughable. If anything, the new BA nonstop service will hurt DL the most and take away some of the folks who would otherwise make the 37-minute hop to ATL and then connect to Europe from there.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:21 pm

bfitzflyer wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
It's a lot harder to establish a new hub based mainly on connections than O&D. ATL had the advantage of acting as a hub for a whole region of the US and being in the largest city in that region.


Atlanta is the 8th largest city in the southeast, not the largest. By that criteria, there are 7 cities in front of it that are better hub candidates.

Atlanta is the 9th largest MSA in the country at 5.8 million and Portland is #25 at 2.4 million. Only MIA is a larger MSA in the SE,See link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... ical_areas


And Miami is located way too far south to be a hub for the SE US.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:55 pm

vhtje wrote:
Wouldn’t SFO be a better option?

UA is arguably vulnerable (reported ongoing integration issues, inconsistent product). Anecdotally, having lived in the Bay Area for two years, AA was well regarded in the local market - quite a large number of my friends have AA Advantage credit cards, and *every* AA flight I took (I flew most weeks either to ORD, JFK or LAX among other destinations) was full.

The con is gate space. AA currently have no spare gates and the up coming terminal move is not going to liberate many more for them. Plus capacity at SFO, particularly in poor weather.

SJC?
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:25 pm

spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Isn't the population a bit small to justify a hub At PDX


Well, it's a lot bigger than Atlanta, and ATL is one of the biggest hubs in the world. It's also roughly the same size as Detroit and Memphis, both of which are also major hubs for different airlines. You don't need a lot of O/D to make a hub.


Can only presume you’ve made the mistake of looking at CITY populations. Not METRO populations.

Metro Atlanta at c.5,000,000 people dwarfs metro Portland (2.2 million).

And Metro Detroit is vastly bigger than both Metro Portland and Metro Memphis.
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:52 pm

UALFAson wrote:
The other piece that no one has mentioned is where would the aircraft come from to operate this hypothetical new PDX hub? AA would either have to order 100 new aircraft or pull them from another hub. The opportunity cost of pulling resources from an established hub to try a new "startup" hub would not be worth it. This is why UA hasn't attempted a Southeast hub in MCO, BNA, or RDU (from the words of UA management themselves in an excellent Flying Together intranet post a while back).


Exactly it is one thing to propose a new hub its a totally different thing to actually build one. In order to build SEA DL had to pull resources from MEM and if I'm not mistaken CVG to build their hub in SEA. I remember the UA article that address this topic, UA would basically have to close IAD to open another hub in the Southeast. Other options were order more aircraft or engage in another merger. It would be no different for AA. In order for them to turn PDX, SJC or any other Northwestern location into a hub they would need either more aircraft on top of the aircraft they already have on order, a merger with another airline or pull resources from another hub. I don't see any of that happening any time soon for UA or AA.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: Could AA build PDX into a northwestern US/transpacific hub?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:49 am

Wednesdayite wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Isn't the population a bit small to justify a hub At PDX


Well, it's a lot bigger than Atlanta, and ATL is one of the biggest hubs in the world. It's also roughly the same size as Detroit and Memphis, both of which are also major hubs for different airlines. You don't need a lot of O/D to make a hub.


Can only presume you’ve made the mistake of looking at CITY populations. Not METRO populations.

Metro Atlanta at c.5,000,000 people dwarfs metro Portland (2.2 million).

And Metro Detroit is vastly bigger than both Metro Portland and Metro Memphis.


And ATL is geographically positioned to serve the entire southeastern US, while there are established hubs at SFO and SEA that could very easily snatch traffic away from PDX if an airline tried to nub at PDX.

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